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Why do women Smoke?
1/21/2009 - DB Metzger

I thought it might be interesting to take something from Herstory and throw it into the general Blog category for discussion.  In 1908 NYC banned smoking for women in Public. Of course that was reversed  but smoking by anyone in NYC has been banned in most restaurants, bars and public buildings for members of  either sex.  The Question today is  why is the rate of women smoking going up, (especially for teenage girls) while that of men is going down. For those of  us at WE what got you to begin smoking? How did you stop and why did some of WE never begin to smoke?  Here’s an article from Canada, (which contains statistics similar to the US) Which might begin discussion.

 When smoking first came into vogue, it was considered a man's activity, and unfeminine. Therefore it became a vehicle for women's rebellion and for asserting a new, more independent, self-image. Tobacco companies capitalized on this. It is said that Edward Bernays, a master of public relations who was hired by the tobacco industry, employed women to dress like feminists and march in the Easter parade of 1929 in New York City. These women were also paid to smoke and, when they attracted the attention of the press, to refer to their cigarettes as "torches of freedom." This was the beginning of an association between women smokers and freedom or liberation that has been cultivated and promoted by the tobacco industry.

Source: Jean Kilbourne and Rick Pollay, Pack of Lies, 1992


2 Comments From Other Members
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1/21/2009 Mary Allan Mill from St. Petersburg FL wrote:
I began to smoke when I was 16 (my mother, father, step mother, grandmother all smoked) because I thought it made me look "older" and "sophisticated". Don't tell, but I never inhaled... I stopped when I was pregnant with my son because we began to realize it was not good for us. I love cigars, so I smoked one cigar on New Year's Eve (had to be either Cuban or from Holland). Last cigar was Cuban smoked in Grand Cayman March, 1989.
1/21/2009 DB Metzger from NY wrote:
I hate to ask but what does a cuban go for and how does one infiltrate the black market to get one or... I gave up smoking about 8 months ago. Health problems gave me the will power.

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